Monday, December 17, 2007


I had a flight to catch at 1am on 3rd of November and I was having "Pav Bhaji" for dinner that night. Then and then it strike me, the fact that many friends had warned me earlier: excitement factor goes down as your number of trips to India goes up. Pav Bhaji had been one of the big incentives for me in all of my earlier India trips but this time I was having it before catching the flight. I follow Indian politics and India stock market with much zeal. I read Indian newspapers on daily basis. I call my family more frequently as compared to my friends in India who are not staying with their folks. I have watched almost the same or more number of Indian movies as compared to my Indian resident friends. Apart from the geographical distance I couldn't say much about missing India, yes of course, I am fortunate enough to miss out the commute, water, electricity and pollution problems which I believe have been a big part of current India. I guess you cannot call yourself an Indian without going through all the hassles that every regular Indian goes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This is how the world ends......

Before I blog about Halo 3 I would like to use abbreviation mil for million as I am afraid this word would be used quite frequently in this blog.

The game that made 170 mil$ in first day, 1 mil online users and 300 mil$ in first week, the game that broke all the records, the game that made history financially. Its quite irony for a employee of EA like me to praise Microsoft and Bungie studios. But the matter of fact is that it has gained popularity across the globe. It even boosted the sales of Xbox360 and overtook sales of Nintendo for a month.

Gamewise (yeah thats my made-up word), I would rate Halo3 7 / 10. Here are my observations:

1) Graphic scenes are mind boggling
2) Cut Scenes are fantastic
3) Story ends in expected way but in good taste
4) Player's HUD view is a bit realistic and makes you believe that you are looking through a helmet.
4) However Sword slashing is different from the previous popular 'in-your-organs' style
5) Player's jump seems to lack gravity
6) Level design is a bit redudant as it involes lots of backtracking, player is asked to go to the same place from where he began his task
7) Campaign mode is noticeably short
8) The last part of the campaign mode that involved driving through the world, which is about the break down, was quite impressive.
9) I am not sure whether it was the hype or the game itself, I was bit unsatisfied with the campaign.

However I have hopes for the multiplayer mode which has always been a successfull formula for Halo franchise.

I would like to see Bungie testing new waters as they now went independent from their adopted dad MS.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mulholland drive

After hearing much hype about the movie finally I got my chance of getting awed by it. To summarize the film, it’s different. It is different in many ways viz., story narration, cinematography, short scene sequences and filming style. David lynch will show your eyes something which will not make sense at all or you would be able to make something out of the scene after a while. He in fact denied explaining the story of Mulholland drive. Thanks to IMDB, confused people can now get their answers. After you understand the story the whole movie would make lot of sense. The movie is considered to be one of the ground breaking movies of the new century. I am not sure that I loved his style as it keeps the audience frustrated and feeling stupid. Maybe his movies are considered as one of those abstract paintings where you are supposed to appreciate it even if you feel that your 2 year old nephew can draw and paint better.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

101st blogpost

Having never tried consciously to blog frequently it came as no surprise to me that it took me 4 years to write 100 blog posts. I started blogging for mainly four reasons:

1) to improve my writing skills
2) to write about topics that demand more thought and attention
3) to remind myself that life is a huge opportunity and I need to jot down and celebrate small and big events that happens in my life.
4) write something on impulse and purely on my natural instincts.

I was reading some of my earlier posts and compared them with my current ones. Based on my observation it seemed that I am moving in the right direction in achieving those above mentioned goals, or is it just my age and maturity that has changed in past few years. One way or the other, blogs have been a place of recluse where I measure the changes that I have gone through in last few years.

Monday, August 27, 2007

My first kid!!!

Well, not literally. I am talking about my first game getting shipped and hitting stores on 18th of September. It’s called MySims and it’s available on Nintendo Wii and DS. It feels nice to see your work getting out and being available to the whole world. Till now the work that I have done was to impress my teachers in school and score some good points. I see this as a new phase of my life where the whole world is my teacher and my work is to keep them happy. Yeah you are right, that was quite a cheesy line….

Finishing a product exposes one to the complete development cycle and all the related problems associated with it. Having some failed projects under my belt, I would relish this game for some time. This product was a result of a newly assembled team, new IP game made for a new platform Wii, with a newly built game engine. Keeping these all ‘new’ factors in mind, the labor pains were not unbearable, especially when it was followed by the good news of making a sequel for the game.

If you want to have a look at the game, visit

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The art of Comics

Comic has always been looked upon as the entertainment medium for the kids. But in last few years things have changed, and changed pleasantly for comics. Most of the successful comics have been made into movies or games or both and even more, people of all ages love it. This transitioning from comic to movie is not surprising as Investors are more comfortable producing a movie based on a popular idea which already has a fan following and which has relatively less legal hassles. Every comic developer wants to increase its fan following and would be more than happy to encash on his idea’s rights for a movie. So this business deal seems to satisfy both the parties’ needs. I don’t see any other better business model as coming up with a new IP in comics is the cheapest way of bringing one’s idea to the public. Only downfall is that you will have to find a good comic to read out of many bad ones.

If you are not into reading comics but want to get started here are my recommendations: Watchmen and Batman (Year One). From the Indian comic collection, Virulent seems to be a short and sweet one.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Oh Harry, Ginny is calling you!!!

I kept myself busy reading 6th and 7th book of the Harry Potter series for big part of the last month. I am not an ardent fan of Harry Potter but having read the books, I would say one thing, Harry Potter series has got most of the elements required to attract readers of all the ages. Every writer and story teller can learn from Rowling’s books. For me the attractions for grabbing HP series were:

1) The world of wizards and wizardy and their nuances
2) Great characters viz., Hermoine, Ron, Dumbledore, Snape and ofcourse my favorite Lord Voldemort
3) The everlasting suspense that many threads of the story managed to keep successfully till the end
4) Usage of simple words, concise sentences and funny mini-stories viz., fights between Ron and Hermoine, Hermoine questioning Harry’s plans etc.
5) The big win was Harry’s character has been written as a regular guy surrounded by good friends, teachers and a lots and lots of luck. So reader was able to able to digest most of it, except the luck part where Harry happens to survive every evil plan made against him.

I would recommend every person out there to read HP series for it will be subject of the talk for many generations to come.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

And you wondered why we need lighthouses for...


One of my good friends Nirav Desai owns the website. He has done quite an impressive work on the website and it deserves attention. Their mission in their own words: "lighthouseffect uses its web space to throw light on the efforts undertaken by nonprofits, NGOs, and social entrepreneurs in their quests to improve the living conditions of children".

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My life....March -July

1) 9:00am : Wake up in the morning
2) 10:30am : Reach office
3) 12:30pm : Lunch
4) 5:00pm : Walk across the lake / play pool
5) 7:30pm : Dinner in the office
6) 10:00pm : Home
7) till 1:00am: Simpsons / Battlestar Galactica / Family guy / Comics / Novels

This is what I call 'a life of Nerd'.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Courage (A short story)

[The story is fictional and a new chapter to my collection of short stories.]

There are some unforgettable moments in everyone's lives; I have quite a few. These are usually moments of unexpected success, sad events or some amusing incidents in which you didn't play any part at all. One such amusing event will always remain close to my mind. In 5th grade we were asked to write essays in all the languages that were taught in school, i.e. English, Hindi and Marathi. Well, scoring highest grade in a language subject was different and writing an essay in that language was a different ballgame altogether. Best escape was to buy some cheap award-winning essay book and try to imitate their writing style in your essays. Well that used to work out great for me and I hope it still does for the current 5th graders.

The story is about a boy, Atul, who being a bright student, also had an unparalleled passion for languages. Teachers used to ask him to read his essays in front of the whole class. Not that his essays were great but they were original. His originality used to bowl me over. But on one such day, when we were supposed to write an essay for Marathi class, he was not prepared. The essay was about our local hero and king, Raja Shivaji. The class was scheduled after lunch break when he busily started writing his essay. There was a glitch in this essay-writing homework – an incomplete essay would affect the overall grade. After scribbling for a while he was able to finish about half the essay which was about 2 pages. After lunch-break the lecture began and unfortunately the teacher asked him again to read his essay in front of the class. The poor guy couldn't dare to admit that he couldn't finish his homework as it would affect his otherwise clean academic record. He took his book in his hands and stood in front of the class. Few of his friends, including me knew the actual facts but we didn't know how he was going to pull this off. Reading an essay that you have written and in a language that you are not quite familiar with, is a big task for an 11-year old guy. Atul started reading his essay explaining King's birth, childhood, schooling which exhausted his essay completely. Without looking at the class, staring at his notebook Atul continued his essay by elaborating about an event where King killed his arch-enemy Afzalkhan with his wits. I was amazed to see his cool, calm poise and confidence with which he was fooling the whole class but with a good intent. Well, teacher was impressed and awarded him good points for his essay. From then on he never missed his homework. The point that I realised was that a given task should first be completed in one's mind before its execution and there will be times where you will not be prepared for an event, but approaching it with a positive attitude will have higher chances of bearing success.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Innocence - A Short Story

"Oh man, I think this would be the end of my simple life. From today onwards everybody would be expecting me to act as a matured person. I have to think twice before making any decisions, I have to maintain my reputation, think about my career. My girlfriend, Priya thinks I am a loser. I wish I could go back in time and lead a tensionless life. I have to be a good son, good brother and a good citizen. I need to plans things and execute them in order to be successful person. I would read newspaper, technical and art magazines on a regular basis. I would eat healthy food daily. I would sleep early and wake up early everyday. From today I would be a changed and better person. From today..."(A lady enters in)
"Welcome to the fourth grade, kids!! I am your class teacher and I would promise you that we would have more fun than you guys had in third grade."